Who is Jean-Michel Basquiat? Work featured amongst Jay-Z and Beyonce

Shania Wilson

A new campaign for Tiffany & Co sees A-list couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z amongst a never-seen-before Basquiat painting. Here’s everything that you need to know about Jean-Michel Basquiat.

The Carter couple are seen elegantly dressed in black, standing in front of the stunning backdrop that is Basquiat’s piece.

Who is Jean-Michel Basquiat?

The late Jean-Michel Basquiat was an African-American artist, rocketing to creative success during the 1980s.

Born in 1960 in Brooklyn, NY, Basquiat reportedly developed a keen-eye for art at a young age, following numerous visits to the Brooklyn Museum of Art with his mother.

Basquiat dropped out of high-school at 17-years-old to create art full-time.

Jean-Michel later launched into a world of artistic fame, blending street art with themes from Neo-Expressionist artists. The creative even collaborated with the iconic pop artist, Andy Warhol.

The artist was notable for creating the pseudonym SAMO (“same old s**t”), often relaying cryptic messages and hidden underlying meanings into his work.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Employees pose with 'Red Skull', 1982 by Jean-Michel Basquiat at Christie's London on September 29, 2017 in London, England. Christie's Auction House is to sell millions of pounds worth of art and design from the 20th and 21st centuries during Frieze Week from October 3rd to October 7th.  (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Sadly, Basquiat’s time on earth was short-lasting. The artist passed away in 1988 from a tragic overdose. He was just 27-years-old.

Today, Basquiat’s work can still be viewed, with pieces held in The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Rubell Family Collection in Miami.

Untitled (1982) by Basquiat reportedly broke auction records in 2016, going for a hefty $57.3 million.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tina Chow, and Andy Warhol at Susan Blond's dinner party for Ozzy Osbourne at Mr. Chow's. April 21, 1986. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Getty Images)
Photo by Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

The Carter’s stand before never-seen-before painting

The new campaign for Tiffany & Co. might just embody the epitome of sophistication.

In the latest ad, the Carter’s stand before a captivating, never-seen-before Basquiat piece, which is conveniently painted in Tiffany’s iconic robin egg blue.

Reportedly, the painting had been in the possession of a private collector since the 80s. The piece is dated from 1982 and is titled ‘Equals Pi’.

Alexandre Arnault, Tiffany’s executive vice president of products and communications, said: “We know a little bit about Basquiat. We know his family. We did an exhibition of his work at the Louis Vuitton Foundation a few years back. We know he loved New York, and that he loved luxury and he loved jewelry. My guess is that the [blue painting] is not by chance. The color is so specific that it has to be some kind of homage.”

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